20 years ago I experienced addiction and lost the opportunity to be my daughters full time mom. That loss was deep and dark. It brought me to places I barely survived and it brought me into recovery. Recovery and the hard work that goes with it helped me survive. The grief and loss work brought me to a ‘rebirth’ a place that reminds of of the story of christ – the process of ‘death and resurrection’. I had to die to many of my struggles in order to be re-born a capable person who could live without vices.
As I planned my future life I still wanted to be a parent and I thought ‘maybe’, just maybe, I could parent children as a foster parent. So with my heart on my sleeve and great hopes I began that journey and through the years learned a lot about the fullness of parenting full time (the fullness includes all the crappy stuff too)
I have had the privilege to parent (full time) 12 children for anywhere from 3 months, to two years and most recently 16.5 years. 16.5 years ago I accepted into my home a boy with a life limiting illness and medical complexities. No one could predict how long he would live and all were amazed as he lived past 4 yrs, 10 yrs and reached 16.5 years to his death November 2016.
The lessons learned in caring for him and with him, changed my life, fulfilled all my desires for that full time parenting experience, taught me to be fully in moments – moments of joy and critical life threatening events, but moments all the same.
The most inspiring moments came through in our last year and months together His body would cause breathlessness but his heart and determination never stopped hime from doing what brought him joy. He would arrive down the stairs, or down a hallway, breathless and say “I Made It!’ – “I Made It Here” and we would sit together, wait for recover and carry on.
I didn’t realize it – until his passing that this mantra he had shared was passed on to me. I would tell everyone this story of his living fully, share this inspirational anthem but once my heart realized he was gone – once the ache set in, I realized that I was the one who made it- I made it here to a place of wholeness, satisfaction completeness and blessed…
I Made it here –
I made it fully into MY heart!